Monday, April 30, 2012

Kobe Japan

Hello All, We finally got checked in with Immigration as of yesterday at 1700. It was a holiday so they were very busy and short handed but now we are free to check the country out. The first night we were here 10 locals that have boats here came over to welcome us to Japan. They brought food, beer, wine and hung out on the boat asking lots of questions, where we are from and where we are going. There English was pretty broken but we managed to understand them and it was a great time. I think that is the most people I have had on my boat. Yesterday afternoon my Swedish crew that was suppose to help me bring the boat from the south Island showed up here. They are leaving the country in a few days and asked if they could stay on the boat until they leave. I told them no problem, it is the least I can do for changing my master plan around that left them out of the loop. We all went out for a walk around the city last night and found a little place for dinner. Stephen will be leaving this morning for Tokyo and then onto Canada. This has to be the most interesting country I have visited so far. It is so different from where I am from and all of the places I have been. I am looking forward to traveling around with my Swedish crew for the next few days. I am also looking into how I am going to fix the boat transmission, I need to get that problem solved as soon as I can. That is all for now and I will keep in touch. PEACE

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Arrived Kobe/Osaka

Hello All, We finally made it to the land of the rising sun. The last 24 hours were uneventful and we got to the yacht harbor at 1635 Sunday afternoon. We are cleared with all of the officials except Immigration and I hope to get that done this morning. I will write more later, for now we need to get busy cleaning up the boat. Bye for now. PEACE

Saturday, April 28, 2012

32 26.81N 134 27.29E

Hello All, Just to put everyone at ease, I got the boat in gear and am now managing my way to Kobe/Osaka. I called the place I bought the engine from yesterday and they gave me a few ideas to sort the problem out. I did some work to the transmission this morning messing with some ajustment shims and have so far managed to keep it from sliping. It is not fixed by far but I hope it gets us in to Osaka. If the creek doesn't rise we should be there early Monday morning. I am holding my breath here. So far so good, as the saying goes. We did get some good wind to move 30 miles last night, which made us both happy. It has been a beautiful day, calm flat seas and about 78 degrees. All is well and we are headed in the right direction. PEACE

Friday, April 27, 2012

120 Miles to Japan

Hello All, We have been sailing right along till this after noon when the wind finally stopped. When I went to start the engine and motor for a while. I figured out my transmition is slipping so badly I can hardly make 3 knots or less. I am going to call the outfit I bought it from on the East coast when they open to see what I can do to make it get us in. If not I will have to wait for wind and hope it blows from the right direction. All is well on board, we are just ready for this trip to end. I will keep you informed. PEACE P.S. The previous post was 2 days ago. This post was sent last night.

31 07.26N 133 03.65E

Hello All, We have had an interesting 24 hours. That low pressure that I was expecting made it here but with gale forced winds. I have the storm jib up and the storm tri sail. The sea was a bit rough last night but it is coming down as we speak. Because of the weather it was going to be to hard to get to the south Island so I have decided to make a detour to Osaka on the main Island. We have another 200 miles to go with my new route but the wind is more in our favor to keep moving this way. I also discovered I may have a problem with my transmission so I need to get to a place that can do mechanic work and haul the boat out if I have to. I hope to be there in 3 days time. We are ready to get there big time. That's all for now. PEACE

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

29 47.05N 132 49.25E

Hello All, We ran the engine at low RPM's through the night and were making good speed with the ocean current helping us. The sea was flat calm and the stars were out over head. This morning we were getting a light breeze out of the south so we put the yankee up. Later in the morning the wind came up more so I looked at the weather again and the low was advancing faster than I thought so before it got to rough we took the yankee down and put up a double reefed main and a staysail. The wind is now at our side and we are moving alone nicely with gusts to 25 knots. We are 110 miles from the South Island but after we get there we still have another 50 miles to go to get to the harbor so now it's all about the timing and this wind is suppose to turn to the North west so I hope we can get in before that happens. All is well here, we are just getting rest and getting ready for a long night of cloudy sky's and wind. I will talk to you soon. PEACE

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

28 21.38N 134 36.42E

Hello All, We got to sail the boat this morning at 0900. The wind turned enough out of the East to make us sail on a close hauled position (wind very close to in your face). The wind was pretty light but we managed to go most of the afternoon with out burning diesel. We are motor sailing at the moment with the engine just helping us along at an idle. The weather was fabulous today, sunny skies and 77 degrees. Starting Thursday morning we are going to feel the effects of another low passing by the South Island. It doesn't look as intense as the last one the difference is we will be right in the path of this low. The heavy wind will be in our favor for the most part so I guess we will use it to get on in and get the boat tied up. We have 237 miles to go. All is well onboard and I am going to get dinner started so I will talk to you soon. PEACE P.S. We were visited by another bird today. He is no bigger than a swallow and came and sat right between us in the cockpit, said hello, rested about 15 minutes, chirped again and left. I am really glad to be out here helping our fellow feather friends out when they need a rest.

Monday, April 23, 2012

27 02.03N 136 11.92E

Hello All, We made it through another 24 hours of sail. The wind was SSE until about 2200 when it clocked around to the west. I had the whisker pole on the jib and I had to get it off to change sides of the boat with the sail. Why do I always take that pole off in the dark. Anyway the wind was strong enough to go without the pole and we went until morning sailing with a stiff breeze at our back. At 0800 this morning the wind was done and so is the sailing for the time being. We have been trying to motor sail but the wind is from around the clock and very light so I will be a motor boat for a while. The weather man has been hitting the forecasts spot on so after I finish talking to you I will see what's in store in for the next 24 hours. We have 354 miles to get to the south Island and we are ready to get there. I hope to have some wind to get us there in a few days so for now we will keep plugging along. The temperature was a little warmer today at 78 and we did have a little rain this morning. I will talk to you soon. PEACE

Sunday, April 22, 2012

25 34.90N 137 39.52E

Hello All, We are officially out of the tropics as of early this morning. The trade winds usually end at 25 latitude in the North and in the South. The temperature is showing it also. The high today was a whopping 76 degrees and it got down to 71 degrees last night. The strong winds I predicted hit us late yesterday. We had everything reefed down and the wind had a lot of east in it so even though we saw gusts to 30 knots the ride was pretty comfortable. The seas followed the wind so we had 8 foot seas pushing us along. Today the wind has clocked into the southeast which is right on our stern. I only have the jib up with it poled out to keep it from calapsing when the boat rolls. It is not that comfortable rocking back and forth like a pendulum but we have the 20 knot wind and 8 foot seas at our back and we are making 5 plus knots. We are 460 miles out of Japan but I don't think this SSE wind is going to last. I guess we will see what happens tonight and tomorrow. Mother Nature always keeps it interesting. All is well on board and the Island is getting bigger in the window. That's all for now. PEACE

Saturday, April 21, 2012

24 06.04N 138 57.13E

Hello All, We have been sailing right along since the last time I wrote. The wind has been up and down so Stephen is getting good at helping me reef sails and making sail changes. The weather has been sunny but cooling off by the day. I am almost ready to put pants on but have been hesitating. We are now 587nm from Japan and at the moment a low pressure is going over the Island of Kyushu. They are reporting gale warnings so I expect tonight we will get a little bit of that. It should pass by tomorrow afternoon and then its anyone's guess what kind of wind we will have when we get closer. Last night we had a visitor land on the stern of my boat. An Albatross looking to get some rest landed right on top of my GPS receiver and RADAR mount. We lost the GPS signal and I figured the satellites just dropped out like they sometimes do. Then I looked up to see my navigation was blocked by this big feathered bird. I just turned off the GPS and let him take a break. When he wanted off a few hours later his wings were getting caught in my antennas. I don't know how he ever got there with out crashing and watching him hold on while we were rolling was funny to watch. I finally had to help him off with the boat hook. After restarting the GPS the antenna wouldn't connect to the unit, I thought this is really bad. I have back up systems but this is my main unit and works very well. I rebooted and unplugged and finally got it to go. We were both relieved. That silly bird came back again this morning and was trying to do the same thing. I kept him away with the boat hook and while he was leaving he got to close to the rigging and the boat rolled and hit him right in the ass. He sqauked and barely got away without crashing. In my experience with Albatross now, I would say they are not the brightest bulb in the lamp shade. That has been our last 36 hours and I will keep you posted. PEACE

Thursday, April 19, 2012

22 12.14N 140 52.47E

Hello All,
After running the engine for a few days we finally got into some good wind. It is pretty strong so we have everything reefed but we are making good speed and it's not to rough. Seas are at about 6 to 7 feet and we are almost on a beam reach so the ride is not to bad. I have been watching the weather with my sailmail system and it has been spot on so far so it has made it easy to try to figure out a good route to Japan. For the first 4 days we went North up the Mariana Island chain so we could get a good angle to cross over. We are on that crossing now because the heavy winds will not let us go North any futher. So now we are on a rum line for Japan and should make the half way point sometime tonight.
All is well on board and Stephen has been a big help. He was feeling great until it got rough again but he is eating well and holding it down so all is good.
Yesterday morning I saw something I have yet to experience on the water thus far. The front that was holding our wind from us futher south showed itself yesterday. It was early morning and I saw this black line of clouds ahead of us as far as you could see to the horizon. At first I thought it was a squall coming but as I got closer I could see under the cloud front and the ones below the black ones were rolling over the top, like you would roll up a piece of paper. It was moving at about 10 knots I figured and as I past under it, like going under a bridge, the wind came up out of the East like you turn on a light switch. After that moment we have been sailing ever since. It is really cool when Mother Nature shows the nuts and bolts of the weather for everyone to see.
The sea and the air temperatures are both dropping. The sea is at 84 degrees and the air is 78 degrees. My days of being hot are now over, sigh.
Well that's all for now. Talk to you soon.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

19 43.77N 142 30.26E

Hello All,
The last 36 hours has left us windless. I have only seen the sea that calm one other time and that was leaving the Solomon's. I have been running the engine at modest RPM's to save fuel and to keep us moving along. We have just hit a soft spot for wind right here but according to the weather we should be back into good wind by morning. All is well onboard and we have just been enjoying the beautiful weather. We have not seen one drop of rain since we left Guam. I problebly just jinxed the whole thing.
We spotted a super tanker today that passed 5 miles behind us. My new AIS ship spotting gear picked him up before I saw him. The info on the ship was that she is heading for the West coast of America. Her name is Aries Explorer, 1200 feet long , 129 feet wide, draws 70 feet of water and was cruising at 13 knots. Nice to know we are not alone out here and I am glad my gear works like it is suppose to.
I had a Booby bird resting on the bow of the boat the other night, I think that is good luck, at least I will call it that.
I am going to get going here, it is still very hot and the cabin is like an oven, 85 degrees and light winds out here on the pond.
Talk to you soon.


Monday, April 16, 2012

16 43.08N 143 09.91E

Hello All,
We have had a great sail today, it has been a little slow due to light winds but the sea is almost flat so we are moving along without the sails banging around. I played with my electric auto pilot today and it works great. There was a few settings I had to play with but all and all I am going to enjoy having that when it gets to calm to sail. This afternoon I started the engine for the first time on the passage so far. With the sun shining on the back side of the main sail I saw some place that had light coming through. They are little wear holes where something had rubbed the sail so I got out my sticky sail patches and we started the engine to keep us moving. We took the sail down to do the small repairs and everything looks good now.
We made another 100 miles today, not very fast but we are getting there. Stephen has an appetite now so I think he will be fine and will have his sea legs in no time. It has been a beautiful day out here, I will miss the tropics on days like this.
That,s all for now and I will talk to you later.


Sunday, April 15, 2012

15 12.77N 143 38.74E

Hello All,
We have been sailing right along since we left Guam. Yesterday the winds were a little strong so I only had up enough sail to keep us moving along. Last night the wind came down to 10 to 12 knots so at first light this morning I got the yankee up also. We have been making good coarse and speed ever since. It has been a beautiful day and the sea is almost flat which is a big help because I am finding my self hard on the wind at the moment. We also made 100 miles in 24 hours so not a bad start. To make this an easy passage the wind needs to be more out of the East but at the moment it has some North in it. I am able to keep the coarse with out issue so far.
Stephen has been feeling a little under the weather, lets just say he has been chumming for tuna from time to time. It looks like he is coming around though, keeping water and food down so I am sure he will be fine in no time.
All is well on board so I will talk to you soon.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Underway to Japan

Hello All,
We left Guam at 1330 (Fri. April 13, 2012 in Alaska, Sat. April 14, 2012 in Guam) after finally getting everything ready to leave. The wind has been gusting up to 20 knots so I am only running a single reefed main and the stay sail. We are only moving at 4 knots but it is pretty comfortable and the seas are at 5 feet. The wind is suppose to come down to a steady 15 tomorrow so after going through the night with the 2 sails I will get my head sail up in the morning.
All is well on board and Stephen is doing great so far. It takes a few days for me to get used to the motion and he has never tried sailing so we will see how he does.
That's all for now and I will write you guys a position update tomorrow.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Japan Bound

Hello All,
We are checked out of Guam with customs and are departing to Japan tomorrow morning. We had a nice dinner at the yacht club tonight and Jane, my friend and the yacht club cook had a going away cake made for me. A few of the members came down for dinner so we had a great time visiting and said our good byes.

We got to take the boat out sailing yesterday in the harbor and had a great sail for the afternoon. I forgot how much fun sailing for a few hours could be. You have to remember when I go sailing it is usually on a passage to get somewhere.

The yacht club has a tradition of making a wooden signs of visiting yachts over the years so in a mad scramble at the last minute I made one to hang up here. I am not much of an artist but with a nice piece of wood I bought and my tools on board I managed to make one in a days time. I meant to do this a month ago but time flies, its done and screwed to the eve of the club house and its not to bad. I took a picture so I will show it to you the next time I get Internet.

As usual its hard to say goodbye and leave another wonderful Pacific Island where the people make all of the difference and to be so kind and Guam is no exception. Japan will be a fast track visit so I wont get to plant roots to deep but I am sure like all of the other places in my travels I will leave a piece of my heart there to.

I will be in touch on the passage and keep you up to date.
Fair winds my friends and I will talk to you out on the water.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter weekend and seatrials

Hello All,
This last week has been very busy with the boat, Island touring, grocery shopping and getting the boat out in the bay. The driving tour around the south end of the Island was very nice. We had the New Zealand couple along with us and saw all of the sites and the day was beautiful. I have been down there before with my crew I got here with but we only hit the high spots due to lack of time. This time however we stopped at pretty much every look out and every little town and bay. The Spanish were first to settle here in the 1500's so there is some old churches and a Spanish fort that overlooks the whole Pacific Ocean.

Since we took the tour we have stocked up the boat and actually took it out in the bay yesterday. My new electric auto pilot had to be calibrated so we spent a few hours going around in circles and almost out the bay before all systems were dialed in. It works really well and will enjoy not having to steer the boat under engine only. Stephen and I also did a little bottom scrubbing to get the growth off. The propeller was stacked with a half an inch of barnacles, it hasn't turned since I got here 8 weeks ago. We will take it out sailing tomorrow afternoon.

Mark and Pauline on Sari Timur loaned me some Japanese charts to have copied so I can have paper charts of all of the waters that I will be visiting. Mark had a friend sell them hundreds of charts of Japan that he never got to use so I went over to Marks boat today and sorted through them finding the ones I need. They will be visiting Japan and Alaska next season. They have been very good friends and have helped me allot so I will take them to dinner tomorrow night.

Easter weekend was a great time at the Yacht Club, all of the members and there families were here Saturday and Sunday. One of the members is moving off of the Island in a month so Saturday was a party for them. They are big into doing tie dye tee shirts so I brought 2 in to have done. It was heaps of fun and we just rinsed them out tonight and they turned out awesome
Tomorrow we are doing laundry with Mark and picking up my copied charts and then we will go for a sail. I hope I remember how to sail the boat, its been a while.

I have met some really good folks here and its been a good place to camp out for a while.
I will write more later so bye for now.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Crew has arrived

Hello All,
My new crew showed up on the 4th and I went to pick Stephen up with my rented car. He is originally from Saskatatchewan Canada but has been living in London for some time. He has been helping me run arrends and and finish some little projects on the boat. He is a big music fan so we have been having a great time visiting. He has never sailed before but is very keen on learning every thing to make the boat go. I showed him around down town yesterday and tomorrow we will drive down to the south of the island. Jim and Tory , the new Zealand couple that is anchored here will come along with us so they can see some of the Island also. I give the car back on Monday so till then we will use it for getting around.
We will get the boat out sailing next week and I will see how my new auto pilot works and get Stephen used to getting sails up and down.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Countdown to departure

Hello All,
This last week I have been busy tying up loose ends on the boat, so to speak, and this last weekend I helped a Japanese resident move his boat from a small marina 5 miles south of us up to the Typhoon refuge close to where I am at. Bob the live aboard resident here at the yacht club and Bob that owns the local Culligan water shop, both members of the yacht club, asked if I could give them a hand. The sailboat is 42 feet and what made it a challange is it had no engine. We were towed out of the harbor by the owners 12 foot power boat with a 90 horse power engine. It is a very small marina and not much room for error. We managed to get the boat out the channel, with a story that would be better told in person , and headed north along the protected south shore of the Island. We made it to Apra harbor with out a hitch and got the boat moored in the Ty phone harbor. This is also a place you can haul out and work on the the boat. You have to use a crane because there is no travel lift on the Island. The problem with the boat was the propeller shaft seal was completely worn out and had to be plugged to keep the boat from taking on water.
Yesterday I helped them haul the boat out with a 120 ton crane. The job actually went really well and his boat is now safe and sound on the the hard. He will make the repairs to the shaft and get the boat ready to go sailing again.
My crew arrives on the 4th so I am preparing for company. I will rent a car for a week so I can run arrends and be able to pick him up at the airport.
The rent a car folks are coming out to the yacht club to pick me up in a few so I need to get going. That is what I have been up to this last week.
I will talk to you soon.